Badgers & Bovine TB

This is a very contentious and complicated topic, which has been subject to much mis-information and propaganda. The Group recognises that the loss of cattle and income which results from Bovine TB can be devastating for farmers.

Extensive, prolonged and peer reviewed research (the Randomised Badger Culling Trial which killed 11,000 badgers) concluded that cattle based measures of disease control could resolve the problem. It also concluded that although badgers were considered to be implicated, that badger culling would make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control.

Despite the evidence that the trials have proved to be inhumane and ineffective, Government have continued with the four year badger culling trials in Somerset and Gloucestershire starting in 2013 and rolled out the cull to Dorset in 2015. More areas are planned to be rolled out during 2016 and 2017 and will result in thousands of badgers being killed unnecessarily.

The Group believes that the only long term effective solution is cattle vaccination and that Government must urgently progress this and alterations to trading arrangements with Europe that hinders the introduction of a cattle vaccine.

In the meanwhile the Group supports farmers by providing an effective and inexpensive badger vaccination programme.